Trump heads in directions he criticized
washington» Donald Trump spent the past two years attacking rival Hillary Clinton as crooked, corrupt and weak. But some of those attacks have slipped into the history books.
From installing Wall Street executives in his Cabinet to avoiding news conferences, the president-elect is adopting some of the same behavior for which he criticized Clinton during their fiery presidential campaign.
Here’s a look at what Trump said then — and what he’s doing now:
Then: “I know the guys at Goldman Sachs,” Trump said at a South Carolina rally in February, when he was locked in a fierce primary battle with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. “They have total, total control over him. Just like they have total control over Hillary Clinton.”
Now: A number of former employees of the Wall Street bank will pay a key role in crafting Trump’s economic policy. He’s tapped Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn to lead the White House National Economic Council. Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary nominee, spent 17 years working at Goldman Sachs and Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist and senior counselor, started his career as an investment banker at the firm.
Then: “Can you imagine another four years of the Clintons? Seriously. It’s time to move on. And she’s totally controlled by Wall Street and all these people that gave her millions,” Trump said in May in Lynden, Wash.
Now: Trump has stocked his Cabinet with six top donors — far more than any recent White House. “I want people that made a fortune. Because now they’re negotiating with you, OK?” Trump said, in a Dec. 9 speech in Des Moines, Iowa.
The biggest giver? Incoming small business administrator Linda McMahon gave $7.5 million to a super PAC backing Trump, more than a third of the money collected by the political action committee.
Then: “She doesn’t do news conferences, because she can’t,” Trump said at an August rally in Ashburn, Va. “She’s so dishonest she doesn’t want people peppering her with questions.”
Now: Trump opened his last news conference on July 27, saying: “You know, I put myself through your news conferences often, not that it’s fun.”
He hasn’t held one since.
Then: “It is now abundantly clear that the Clintons set up a business to profit from public office. They sold access and specific actions by and really for, I guess, the making of large amounts of money,” Trump said at an August rally in Austin, Texas.
Now: While Trump has promised to separate himself from his businesses, there is plenty of overlap between his enterprises and his immediate family. His companies will be run by his sons Donald Jr. and Eric. And his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner have joined Trump at a number of meetings with world leaders of countries where the family has financial interests.
Ivanka is also auctioning off a private coffee meeting with her to benefit her brother’s foundation.
The meeting is valued at $50,000, with the current top bid coming in at $25,000.